Too Young to Tattoo?


With sleeve drawn back, senior Colin Rector shows his cultural-based tattoo.

Joyce Mac, Contributor

Over the years more high school students have developed a tendency to get tattoos. Each student has their own reason to get one, whether it is regarding their culture, parents, or is about life.

“My tattoo ‘life is beautiful’ means during hard times, there’s always something good to look forward to,” senior Summer Myers said, who got her tattoo in 2017. “Be in love with your life, every minute of it, and fall in love with moments. “

Before getting a tattoo, it takes a lot of consideration to be certain for sure about getting one done. Senior Collin Rector planned his tattoo for about 2 years before deciding to get it done.

“I’ve always wanted tattoos, and I thought of this really cool idea that represents my native culture,” Rector said. “The tattoo I have is an original piece which one of my dad’s friend painted for me.”

However, not everyone thinks that it is a good idea to get one done at a young age. Senior Clara Cedillo shared her opinion about tattoos.

“Teenagers feel like they have to get a tattoo so they feel like they are cool and to show off,” Cedillo said.  “A tattoo is going to be on your body forever, so you should wait until you’re 20 or older. You are able to make mature decisions in that age rather than as a teenager.”

The law of getting a tattoo in Virginia is 16 with a parent. To get a tattoo without a parent’s consent is 18. It is up to the individual’s parents to agree whether they allow their children to get one.   

“My parents made me wait until I was 18 before getting one. Most young people get them just to have them, so it all depends on if they’re mature enough to realize how getting a tattoo can affect their lives, “ Rector said. “Some parents don’t care, while other parents trust their child to make a mature decision. 16 with parental consent is a good age.”

“They should be at least 16,” Myers agreed. “They’ll be able to sit still and understand that there are needles going in you.” 

In the end, it is up to each individual to decide what they want with their body.

“Think before you do it,” Cedillo said. “The tattoo is going to be one your body forever.”